A collection of motor carrier filing services and their proprietors have countersued the Federal Trade Commission, claiming the agency’s publicly announced accusations of fraud against the companies and their owners have damaged their reputations and their business’ revenue.
James P. Lamb and Uliana Bogash — and their businesses DOTAuthority.com, DOTfilings.com, Excelsior Enterprises International and JPL Enterprises International — filed their suit March 22, asking the FTC to pay them for their damaged reputation and loss of business.
The FTC in September filed court action against Lamb, Bogash and their corporations, claiming they had scammed thousands of owner-operators out of an estimated $20 million. The FTC alleges Lamb and associates pretended to be associated with the DOT or other agencies and would coerce them to pay unnecessary federal and state registration fees.
Lamb contests these charges. He claims his website and other marketing materials made it clear his companies were third parties, not affiliated with the U.S. DOT.
The FTC froze Lamb’s business and personal assets, but a judge later overruled the FTC’s action.
The case is expected to go to court in October, according to a press release announcing the countersuits.
The press release states the FTC “intentionally mischaracterized” the charges against Lamb, which caused “irreparable injury to the defendants’ reputations and revenues.”
The plaintiffs in the countersuit argue the FTC “exaggerated [their] culpability by using inflammatory language in the absence of a final judgment,” citing the FTC’s use of words like “scammers” and “crooks” when referring to Lamb and cohorts.